The 2021 NFL season still has one week remaining, but the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Awards here at Pro Football Draft are already locked up. They’re pretty obvious choices, too.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Despite opting out of the 2020 college football season, Chase was the fifth overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft and was reunited with his former college quarterback, Joe Burrow, with the Bengals. It was a pick that drew some scrutiny at the time because of Cincinnati’s need for offensive line help, but boy has Chase paid off in a big way.
Entering Week 18, Chase has recorded 79 catches for 1,429 yards and 13 touchdowns and is fresh off of a rookie record 266 receiving yards in Week 17. He should break Justin Jefferson’s record for receiving yards in a rookie season, too.
Chase has instantly become one of the NFL’s most dangerous playmakers and at just 21 years old, he’s only going to get better.